The number of Missouri districts going to school four days a week has increased from 15 to 18 in the past year.
State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, tells Missourinet he’s received excellent feedback on four-day weeks, especially in rural areas.
“I’ve had opportunities to talk to a lot of people from teachers to administrators to parents,” Reiboldt says. “Everybody loves it in our area.”
Former Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed the optional four-day school week into law in 2011. Reiboldt, who supports that law, describes a four-day school week as another “tool in the toolbox” for districts.
“We’re saving money on transportation, families like it,” says Reiboldt. “They’ve worked around, you know, where mom and dad are both working. Maybe the grandparents get to stay or get to keep the kids for one day extra.”
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) spokeswoman Sarah Potter says 18 of Missouri’s 518 districts currently have a four-day school week.
“It won’t work in every community, we understand that. But it’s working very well, especially in the rural communities in our area,” Reiboldt says.
The 2011 bipartisan law signed by Nixon moved from requiring 174 days of instruction to a total of 1,044 hours for districts that wanted to go to four days.
The Lathrop R-II District in northwest Missouri was the first district to make the change.
DESE says the 18 Missouri school districts that currently have a four-day week are:
** Community R-VI
** Miami R-1
** Harrisburg R-VIII
** East Lynne 40
** Stockton R-1
** Lathrop R-II
** Everton R-III
** Albany R-III
** Jasper County R-V
** Laclede County C-5
** Miller R-II
** Pierce City R-VI
** Maries County R-II
** Holliday C-2
** Wellsville Middletown R-1
** Montgomery County R-II
** Orearville R-IV
** Niangua R-V
Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, which was recorded at the Statehouse in Jefferson City on September 13, 2017: